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tv   Rock Center With Brian Williams  NBC  January 17, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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tonight on "rock center" a church of scientologist, for the first time on tv, oscar winner the church speaks out to harry smith. >> does this concern you, having this conversation right now? >> yes, it does. this is inkrcredibly stupid. >> and one family describes what they claim they endured to break free of the church. >> they separate us. i'm asleep in a male dorm. lucy sleeps in a female dorm, and there's a guard outside. >> do you know how kcrazy this sounds? >> it was crazy to us as well. >> and the lance armstrong saga. he admitsz to years of doping in tonight's oprah interview. bob costas will be here to talk to us about the confession, the
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fallout, and all those he attacks during the way. >> and chelsea clinton reports on a life story changing lives for thousands of girls. >> it makes them feel special, makes them feel they can get over things. >> plus, the mother of all basement hobbies, one that has to be seen to be believed. >> good evening and welcome to "rock center." tonight, we devote much of our broadcast to explosive accounts from members of the church of scientology. you'll get a look at the interview with a hollywood actor whose break from scientology. and you'll also hear from lawrence wright, whose controversial new book on the church "going clear" came out just today. he set out to understand why some members commit themselves so deeply to scientology.
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what he found adds a complicated, often troubling layer to our understanding of the church. harry smith has our report. >> reporter: why did you finally leave the church? >> i was ashamed of my own stupidity. of how i could have been so purposely blind for so many years. >> reporter: paul is the oscar winner writer and actor in "cra "crash" and most famous scientologist to leave the church and speak out publicly. >> everyone who left left quietly and was so scared. all the well known team. people. i can't do that. if i leave, i leave loudly. >> we met haggis in rome, where he's working on a new movie, the canadian born filmmaker first joined the church when he was a troubled 21-year-old looking for answers. >> i was in love with a woman who i just couldn't get along with. we can help you with that. that's how it started.
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>> did scientology help you early on? >> yes, yes, it did. i think -- it's like picking up any good self-help book, you're going to get something out of it. >> one of the fundamental principles of scientology is a person can improve their condition only if he is allowed to fiend his own truth about himself. >> it's based on the idea everyone can achieve freedom from unwanted emotions and discomfort. haggis attended auditing sessions, a form of one-on-one counseling. >> it's like very specific -- i guess, psychooanalysis. they would kill me for saying it, but they're going to kill me anyway. they hate the comparison between the two, but you are -- yeah, it's like a therapy session. >> what do you think it is about scientology that gets ahold of people? >> i think there are things that actually help you.
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they help you get along a little better with you your wife, your husband, they help you understand your boss better. if there's nothing that actually helped you in your life, it would never get ahold of you. >> haggis went to hollywood in 1977 and got his break working at a writer for cartoon shows. as he climbed the ladder into primetime tv and movies, many of his friends were scientologists, too. it was an accepted, even celebrated member of a community. >> how do they convince people to be loyal? >> it's just this long, slow walk towards believing. it's the idea of being part of a group that is ostracized and hated. it bands you together against the outside world. >> but then, after more than 30 years in the church, the outside world came crashing in. >> it was around the time of
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proposition 8 that things really started to get to a head. >> proposition 8 was a california initiative to block gay marriage. >> i was out. my daerth ughter is picketing a donating money to stop proposition 8. and then i found out that a branch of the church was supporting it. and i got very upset. >> the church says it was merely one psychologist who signed a petition, and he was not representing the church. long a champion of liberal causes, haggis began to wonder what his church really stood for. and for the first time, began his own research. >> i went, oh, my god. is this really happening? >> he learned of allegations of abuse at the highest levels of the church from a series of articles in the st. petersburg times. stories of physical violence and involuntary confinement. haggis was particularly shocked when he read allegations on anti-scientology websites of
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children made to work 12 to 16 hours a day. >> it's horrible treatment this kids had, terrible. they made you work so often, and all day long, and terrible conditions. [ bleep ] for that. yeah, they should be taken down for that. >> the church denies any of this abuse happened. they say haggis' investigation was a sham and there's no record, no police reports, no medical records, no photos to support these allegation. the church also says it adheres to all child labor laws. haggis resigned from the church in 2009 and made his break public two years ago when the new yorker publishes a controversial profile by reporter lawrence wright. >> i expected when i did this interview with larry, people would go, oh, he's the stupidest man on earth, and i probably am. i think that is the problem. you're purposely blind. i was purposely blund. >> you chose to be blind? >> of course, anyone has to choose to be blind. >> he's been largely shunned by
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those in the scientologist community, but has heard from others his resignation gave them the courage to quit as well. he's now part of lawrence wright's new book, out today, called "going clear, scientol y scientology, hollywood, and the prison of belief" which is based on wright's investigation of the church, including interviews with more than 200 people, mostly former members. >> what i was struck by is the people i met with initially were really bright and interesting people. they were not freakish, they were not crack pots. they had their own reasons for being drawn into this organization. >> science fiction writer l. ron hubbard founded the church in 1954 and while the religion has been a positive, transformative experience for some, it has long been shadowed by allegations that people have been emotionally and sometimes even physically abused. >> i don't think anybody would join scientology in order to be abusiv abusive.
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they go into scientology because they want help. but at a deeper level, you go further and further into the church, the distortions become more and more apparent. and it's at those levels that i think scientology has lost its way. >> why do you think the church is so controversial? >> it has a history of being very vindictive and litigious. and it has a history of infiltrating the government and spying on people. and so it has created an atmosphere of fear that surrounds it. >> in the 1970s, the church launched a massive espionage effort called operation snow white because the church believed the government was collecting information damaging to the church. fall ollowing an five raid, 11 scientologies, including hubbard's wife, were convicted of entering numerous agencies and stealing documents.
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does this concern you, this conversation? >> of course it does. this is incredibly stupid. these are not people you want to mess with. >> the church has labeled haggis the hypocrite of hollywood and says he has not been an active member for years. while haggis says in retrospect, he was never a true believer, he did tell us utgoing clear, where a person clears his mind of negative influences before becoming what scientologies become an operating thing, or ot, the equivalent of an immortal soul. >> you would simply say me. >> there are many levels of spiritual enlightenment in scientolo scientology. >> i went to the top. >> you went to the top? >> ot 7. >> that was the top in the late '70s. by that time, haggis said he was having serious doubts when he reached an earlier level called ot 3, which introduces
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scientologies to key tenants of the church's believes, including the notion that the human body is host to aliens from outer space. >> you're introduced to the concept of alien beings, space aliens, that have infested your body, by the scores of hundreds, and those are the things that are giving you all your problems in your life. your neurosis, your fears, your phobias, your anxieties, and maybe your sexual confusion. >> haggis was stunned when he reviiewed the material for ot 3. >> i read the materials, they're hand-written by hubbard, and i went, what the hell is this? >> i could justify a lot of things in the past and say, okay, but this -- there's nothing to justify. this is -- this is madness. this is absolute madness. >> why do you stay then? >> it's a part of your life at that point.
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>> your kids are in school. your friends, your wife. it's what you know. >> is scientology a cult? >> of course it is. of course it is. it's a system of beliefs. you have these folks inside this fortress who won't look out and won't look at any criticism and can't bear the investigation and think that everyone is against them. how would you describe that? it's a cult, of course, it is. >> as seen in this church video, there may be no more powerful marketing tool that the cult of celebrity. and perhaps there is no more important scientologist than actor tom cruise. l. ron hubbard known to his followers simply has lrh courted stars from the beginning. >> tom cruise has introduced lrh technology to over 1 billion people. >> it's a privilege to call yourself a scientologist.
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>> he's being awarded scientology's first freedom of valormedal by david miscavige. >> what moral responsibility do these stars have to know about the alleged abuses in the church? >> these stars have been in my opinion, exploited, to advance scientology. so people join it because of them. and therefore, i think they have a tremendous moral responsibility to know what actually is happening inside the church. >> when you left the church, you described it as an act of treason. >> yes, it was a treason act. if you have an enemy who has declared them selve an enemy, that's a bad thing, but if you have a friend who stabbed you in the back, that's worse. and that's what they claimed i did, and that's actually what i did. >> strong words, and after the break, when harry's reporting continues, a family who devoted their lives as you heard to scientology, they're describing
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practices a lot of people would find inconceivable, like parent separated from their own children. >> there was an 8-year-old child that was with us. nobody cared about her at all. she saw her mother even less than i did. >> 8 years old? >> she was 8, i had to put her to bed every night, crying, asking for her parents. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪ if you don't have something important to say? don't let great deals pass you by... ... during the petsmart canapalooza™ savings event! save on your cat's favorite brands of canned food.
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welcome back. in the first part of harry smith's report tonight, you determination to leave the church of scientology no matter the consequences. pudimos ver la determinación que on a family who claimed they know just how dire those consequences can be. harry now picks up the story at a crucial moment in church history. >> the irs issued letters recognizing scientology and every one of its organizations as fully tax exempt. the war is over! >> reporter: october 1993, thousands gather in los angeles to celebrate as the leader of the church of scientology announces victory over the irs.
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for years, the u.s. government had refused to recognize scientology as a religion and was demanding it pay $1 billion in back taxes. after a bitter legal battle, the irs relented and granted tax exempt status. >> there will be no billion-dollar tax bill which we can't pay. there will be no more discrimination. >> i think scientology has a lot to account for because it's protected as a religion under the first amendment. it's able to get away with a lot of things. >> reporter: author lawrence wright has written a new book out today called "going clear, scientology, hollywood and the prison of belief." wright says the victory over the irs allowed scientology to build capital and power, power, he says, the church has exploited. >> what they're doing is abusing their own members, shaking them down for money, wreaking vengeance on people that disagree with them, punishing
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its critics and physically abusing people and holding them against their will inside the highest levels of the church. >> reporter: the church will say complaints like this come from malcontents and that they have no credibility. do they seem credible to you? >> well, there's such an abundance of them and their stories corroborate each other. >> reporter: stories like that of the james family. the three of you got out. >> uh-huh. >> we're lucky ones. we got out with at least our immediate family intact. >> reporter: hayden and lucy james met in the 1980s, most members of the church's clergy. they lived and worked at one of scientology's main bases located in the desert east of los angeles. as members, they signed contracts, dedicating themselves to the service of the church for 1 billion years. what was it that made you decide to devote your life to scientology? >> i think seeing that i could help other people.
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>> it's the type of questions that probably most people have, why are we here, what are we doing here, what's our purpose? what's our relationship with each other? >> reporter: the jameses say their troubles with scientology began when they wanted to have a baby. when lucy became pregnant in 1990, she says she was pressured to have an abortion. >> i was escorted to the ethics division and i was put in a proom and then a gentleman came in and sat down and said, this is wrong. you need to terminate the pregnancy. >> reporter: they told you that flat-out? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: church officials say that according to their policies, seaorg members must leave the order if they want to have children because their duties are too demanding. they also say they do not pressure women to abort. hayden, you're in the room with lucy, you're looking into your wife's eyes. what are you thinking? >> not going to happen. >> reporter: after choosing not to abort their child, hayden and
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lucy were sent to a remote scientology mission in birmingham, england. it was 1991. later that year, katrina was born. the jameses spent the next 14 jeerz years rebuilding the mission until one day, they were abruptly summoned back to los angeles. >> david showed up and said, you're out of here. >> reporter: do you have the sense that you're back in the better graces of the church? >> oh, no. >> no. what we realized when we walk in the building as our cell phones are taken from us and security makes sure that we can't have any access to the internet and various other restrictions and we realized that we've gone back into the frying pan. >> reporter: hayden and lucy were given a room together. katrina, then in her early teens, was put in a separate facility. >> we can't physically go over there. so -- >> reporter: you're prohibited
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from seeing your own daughter? >> yes. >> reporter: what was it like for you as parents? >> horrifying. we arranged to meet once a week on a bench, we would meet early in the morning. >> reporter: in 2005, on one of those early morning park bench meetings, katrina told her father she wanted to leave. >> i watched families separated. there was an 8-year-old child that was with us -- nobody cared about her at all. she saw her mother even less than i did. >> reporter: 8 years old? >> yeah, she was 8. and i had to put her to bed every night crying asking for her parents. just couldn't tell people what we were doing was right. i couldn't do it. >> reporter: the church says there were no formal restrictions against parents seeing their children. but hayden and lucy told the
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church they wanted out of the seaorg, whereupon, they say they were interrogated for weeks. and then -- >> we were told we had to dump our daughter, we had to get rid of her. >> reporter: the church in the end, after hours of interrogation, says, you guys can stay, but just cast off your daughter? >> yes. and it was, you must stay. we're in prominent position, we must stay, we must get rid of our daughter, correct. >> reporter: help me understand. you're in america. you can walk out that door anytime you want to. >> not without everything having been taken away from us. >> it's america, you can just walk out the door, that's true. it's the consequences of your actions that you fear. you fear the retribution. >> reporter: hayden and lucy say they learned of the consequences in 2006 when they secretly boarded a train in sacramento with the intention of leaving the church. within 24 hours, they say the church learned of their absence and coaxed them back. >> we had two choices -- go back or be excommunicated.
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we decided that going back was the best. >> reporter: because you want to leave on as good a terms as possible? >> at least not be excommunicated and be disconnected from anybody we've ever known. so we go back. and sort of keep us in a dungeon, what we called the dungeon, which was the basement of that 13-story building of a windowless room. >> reporter: how many weeks are you there? >> 10, 12 weeks. >> reporter: at night, they say they were taken from the basement to dormitories. >> i sleep in a male dorm. lucy sleeps in a female dorm and there's a guard outside. >> reporter: do you know how crazy this sounds? >> i know. >> reporter: from my side of the table? >> it was crazy to us as well. why would they put a guard on me? everywhere i went, to go eat, i go into the ladies' room, the guard stands outside the door. it's all intimidation. >> reporter: church officials say hayden and lucy were never confined nor placed under guard. and they say hayden and lucy agreed to participate in the sea organization's formal process of
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severing relations with the religious order. the jameses say when they finally left the seaorg they received a series of bills for church services and for what's called freeloader debt for breaking their billion-year contract. the church says any money the jameses paid was a voluntary donation how much was the bill for? >> $130,000. >> reporter: they provided documents showing more than $73,000 was paid. >> and that was discounted. >> reporter: they were giving you a deal? >> yep. >> reporter: once they'd left the church in late summer 2006, the jameses say they were looking over their shoulders, uneasy and suspicious that the church was keeping an eye on them. >> how did you find out where i lived? >> reporter: this is video hayden took of scientologists paying him a visit in 2011. >> you guys are trespassing.
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>> not at all. we drove right in -- >> this is not a public place. i'm asking you to leave. >> reporter: today they say, their lives are marked by what was always their greatest fear -- disconnection from family members still inside the church. lucy, do you have relatives with whom you cannot communicate? >> yeah. >> reporter: who? >> i have two sisters. >> reporter: who are in the church? >> yeah. >> reporter: can't speak with them? >> no. >> reporter: they won't speak with you? >> no. one of my sisters is in the sea organization so she's not allowed out. and the other one, both her and her husband work for scientologists. >> reporter: what is it like not being able to even call them or e-mail -- >> horrible.
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>> reporter: -- your own flesh and blood? >> it's wrong. i promised myself i wouldn't cry. >> reporter: this is what the jameses say it means to be disconnected. lucy's sister says she was not forced to disconnect connect. and church officials say it's up to members to decide whether to stay in contact with ex-scientologists. >> this is the leverage being used so people won't speak out about the abuses. this is what people are afraid of. they're afraid of this happening. so they'll be quiet. >> reporter: officials of the church of scientology declined nbc's request for an on-camera interview. but in letters to nbc, they say the jameses are smearing the church and have threatened a lawsuit. they add that hayden james is an unreliable source. he is bitter and has an ax to grind. as for the author, lawrence
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wright, church officials say his book is an roor-filled, unsubstantiat unsubstantiated, bigoted book. >> it's been surprising to me so see how many families have been broken up, how many families physically abused. the church has to account for these things. >> with our thanks to harry smith for his reporting. and there's a footnote to all this from "the atlantic." they've been forced to engage in a little bit of damage control of displaying a controversial ad on their website monday that was purchased by the church of scientology. the ad is the kind you've probably seen. it's called sponsor content and it's formatted to look like an actual article on their website. and the article lavishly praised scientology's leader. as a "new york times" media
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writer later noted, it was the same time lawrence wright's book was coming out and our airing was tonight. the church says, quote, we believe freedom of speech was never intended to be selective in who it applies to, closed quote. up next on our broadcast tonight, chelsea clinton reports on finding hope and love in the most unlikely place. and along the way, we learn the story of two inspirational people. and later, a very different story, the lance armstrong doping confession that aired tonight. bob costas will join us live with insights into what he really said and what's possibly next for the whistle-blowers he falsely attacked.
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even every fashion trend. welcome back. our next report here tonight is a love story that could change girls who desperately need it. it begins with a young couple the world to find out more. >> welcome to kibera. this is my home. this is where i grew up.
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>> reporter: kennedy odede was born in the slums of kibera, nairobi. it's now home to his wife, jess. kibera is one of the poorest places on earth. when you say the poverty is worse on this side of the track than the other side of the track, what does that mean? >> the houses are more like tin and mud. >> reporter: homes, cobbled together from scrap metal and mud. kibera is a crowded and dangerous place to live for an estimated 1 million people. the government's not really here? >> no, the government is not here. >> reporter: no one collects the garbage. there are no roads, no sewage pipes, no electricity, no public schools, no hospitals. what is here, malnutrition and disease. kibera is home to nairobi's so-called forgotten children. but there are exceptions. like here at the kibera school for girls. built by kennedy and jess, the school is their labor of love, a
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vision to give 100 little girls like vanessa their best chance to beat hopelessness. at only 8 years old, vanessa is already a survivor, having battled both malaria and cholera. she's one of the school's most promising students. i met vanessa the day i was asked to help teach her math class. she's smart and very sure of herself. but without this free school, vanessa would have no future. >> there are some community schools started by people in the community but they charge. they're forced to choose. they send a boy to school instead of sending a girl. >> reporter: that's exactly what happened to vanessa's mother. esther became a child bride at 14, forced to give up her dream to study medicine. >> i am lucky that i find this school.
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i see my baby can achieve my dream. >> reporter: her dream is that her daughter becomes the first doctor in the family. dreaming is something new to these kids. >> your dreams can come true by having confidence. >> your dreams can come true by believing in god. >> by going to school every day. >> reporter: the school teaches girls like vanessa that can dream big. >> i am a strong woman. >> i believe in myself. >> i believe in myself! >> reporter: along with that self-confidence, the girls gain the skills needed to pursue their dreams. why do you all like clifford so much? >> because clifford was a good dog. >> reporter: a good dog. clifford didn't mean to make trouble. all classes are taught in english, a vital tool for overcoming poverty in kenya. the school has become a lifeline
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for many in kibera. unemployed mothers run a sewing cooperative in an empty classroom. the school's health clinic and water tower help 6,000 families a day. >> my children use this water, no longer sick. >> reporter: also critical? giving these 100 girls a safe haven from their often violent surroundings. >> it's really even hard to talk about, but 27% of our students have been sexually assaulted. and these are -- i mean, they're tiny. they're 4 to 10 years old. they're the kids you were reading the clifford book with. we can provide a safe space to protect these girls that makes them feel special, makes them feel like they can get over things. >> reporter: positive role models help speed the healing. and there's no better role model than kennedy. once a homeless boy, now known
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as the mayor of kibera. who taught himself to read and write. and with jess' help, he received a scholarship to receive a scholarship. kennedy graduated last spring with honors from wesleyan university. >> it doesn't matter where you come from, only where you want to go. >> reporter: both of you have had a profound impact on people in kibera. so many children have been named after you -- >> there are a lot of kennedys, a lot of jessicas. i feel like we don't deserve it yet. >> reporter: for kennedy and jess, this means coming full circle. after a june wedding, the couple decided to postpone their honeymoon and rushed home to kibera to be with their girls. >> the numbers are so grim when you hear them, you have to prefer to concentrate on things like clifford is a good dog. and go with that sentiment. shell si, what's the long-term prognosis and why not spring l the countryside with programs
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like it? >> certainly kennedy and jess are hoping to expand. they've already been able to expand the school we visited. this year, the school starts in january, they were able to take 40 girls instead of 20 girls into prekindergarten. they're hoping to build a second school and health clinic and water treatment center in another neighborhood of kibera. >> it would be nice in these were all over where they're needed. >> yes, it would be. >> welcome back. >> thank you very much. there's much more on the story on the web. and next up for us tonight, the televised confession that has received so much attention. bob costas will be with us to discuss lance armstrong and his admission tonight to doping. that is next. [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes?
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did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance? >> yes. >> yes or no, was one of those banned substances epo? >> yes. >> did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
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>> yes. >> did you ever use any other banned substances, like testosterone, court zone or human growth hormone? >> yes. >> as you can tell, that was the yes or no answers portion at the very top of tonight's broadcast. lance armstrong a short while ago in the interview where he intended to come clean to oprah winfrey about doping during his cycling career despite all the many years of denials and all the people he damaged along the way. bob costas is in our l.a. bureau tonight having watched the interview. bob, you got to watch it. we were at work. what did you take away from this spectacle tonight? >> well, people are going to interpret it different ways and say they picked up on whatever they can the cues are and his sincerity in different ways. but from where i sat, if he was going to do this, that's a big if, he handled himself about as well as he possibly could have. >> well, listening to it as a lawyer would, did he leave any room?
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are people going to be able to pick it apart and find space in it -- with the brief portion i heard, he said he didn't want to mention too many other names aside from talking about himself? >> yeah, and there's been talking leading up to this. and i am not a lawyer, let's stipulate that. and don't even play one on tv. but there's been talk that this opens him up for additional civil suits, clawback actions. the statute of limitations on perjury has apparently passed. but he has some liability here, there's no question. so it's a calculated risk on his part. and he's in a different situation than other people in sports, prominent people, whether in baseball, track and field, whatever, who have been involved in blood doping or performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, because he stands alone. to most americans, maybe 2%, 3%, really follow cycling outside lance armstrong. to most american, lance armstrong is cycling. so it's not about his records, like mark mcgwire relative to
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roger marist, or barry bonds relative to hank aaron. most americans don't really care about those people. lance armstrong was a bigger-than-life character. it's about him as a person. so he faces a different sort of uphill climb when it comes to rehabilitating his image, if that's even possible. it's clear that he cheated, even if everyone else was doing it, he doped and he cheated. he lied about it repeatedly and aggressively. and he damaged and defamed other people and did so aggressively and repeatedly over a long period of time when they dared to challenge him. and then the last thing is that many people will now say that he confesses only when he has run out of all other options. and this is the only course left to take. >> you touched on livestrong. this is hardly victimless. there is a charity that he himself set up. there's all his friends, teammates, everyone who's touched his life all these years. >> there are going to be those who will say that in spite of
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all his misdeeds and he repeatedly said tonight that he is a deeply flawed man and that he would do things differently, there will be those who say, yeah, but, look at livestrong, look at all the good he did for cancer victims and that that foundation continues to do. and i think you have -- if you have time for it, about a 30-second bite that kind of captures what he said in terms of betraying other people. >> we don't have time for it. >> take my word for it. >> thank you for joining us from the los angeles bureau tonight. bob costas having watched this interview tonight. we want to let you know there will be much more on lance armstrong tomorrow morning on "today," including live cluf interviews with tyler hamilton, former teammate of armstrong who accused him of doping and doug ulman, the ceo of livestrong. that's tomorrow morning on "today." when we come back, some recent news that deserves more attention, including the blue jeans that will soon be available in europe containing a
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very big difference. that and more when we come back. ? yeah, that would be cool. introducing the all-new nissan sentra. it's our most innovative sentra ever. nissan. innovation that excites. now get a $169-per-month lease on a 2013 nissan sentra. ♪ on a 2013 nissan sentra. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans.
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because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second.
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which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪
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♪ estamos de vuelta en este model trains in the base many but sell dem trains in the basement. this guy lives in canada. let's just call him a big train fan. his video chronicles the 2500 hours it took to build it.
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he grew up loving canada's via train line. he bought a car headed tore scrap, used it for parts and reassembled it downstairs. when you see the action figures on the video you fear for just a moment he has no life. >> i am making your silver pants blue. >> but then you find out he has a life and a really cute little boy who seems to love the family train in the basement. google was in hot water for while this week and here's why. here is a donkey in africa. as photographed by the google street view vehicle or in this case google dirt road view. now here is the donkey and he's down. on the web they howled bloody donkey murder. until an investigation that says people sought freeze frames in the wrong order. the donkey was taking a dust bath as they want to before the camera vehicle approached. google confirms the donkey is alive and well and will be played in the movie by eddie murphy. >> i'm not through with you yet.
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>> i'm through with you. >> "jersey shore," seaside heights, where they filmed in "jersey shore." last seen in sandy. they filmed the march and they will rebuild the board walk for memorial day. a lot of us have been going there since discovering the gym. chris christie goes enthere and got in a shouting match with a guy over an ice cream cone. >> you're a big shot shooting your mouth off. >> in marketing news, who says we celebrate our kids too much. this is the first first flush ad campaign by huggy's pullups designed to make our kids feel better about their efluent and achievements. if you complain with jeans there's never enough moisturizener them then these are for you. in a press release we feared was hoax wrangler is launching the first moisturizing jeans. they say it's for jeans wearers
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who want to avoid the dehydrating effects of denim, and who among us hasn't suffered with that. they come lined with natural butters including al aloo vera, and butter cream. this is the daughter of mick jagger. if they can keep talking about sheep issues and keep from making eye contact. the sheep won't notice he's a deer. he keeps it cool by keeping it tight and acting very sheepy. there was a lovely tribute this week to the staggering loss in newtown. the children's choir assembled by some veteran recording artist raising money for charity and soothing the hurt with an old classic. ♪ somewhere over the rainbow ♪ way up high >> and what would a review of
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the week be without the best dogs on the web? first, this. a heart wrenching heart warming video of a puppy who was scared to death of the stairs. and her older roommate who helps every way he knows how. even teaching the dog how to take those first tentative terrifying steps. >> good girl! yay! >> and finally, this was bound to happen. dogs have learned how to video chat. these two use it to catch up mostly, talk about favorite new dog toy purchases, family news, news from the neighborhood, what they did to the yard. the same stuff we all talk about. we love that one. if anyone knows for sure what they were discussing there, please let us know. a reminder, we will have updates on the two big stories in the sports world. first of all, the story that's been consuming the campus of
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notre dame, tomorrow morning on "today" and for those just catching up with tonight's lance armstrong interview, a reminder that in the morning they will have live exclusive interviewes with tyler hamilton, former armstrong teammate who accused him of doping, and doug ulman, ceo of livestrong, cancer charity hurt so badly by lance armstrong's troubles. that and more from our friends on "today." next week when we see you here for rock center, set best known tv salesman since the dawn of television. and he's still going. and he may be the best salesman, period, of the modern era. he is ron popiele and this year he is in beverly hills, california. he worked hard all of his life. he worked hard for everything he owns. all of that stuff he came up with that we knew we didn't need but we got anyway, now he's working on the next big thing. while he is still using the old stuff.
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>> hold it there for six or seven seconds. you tap it. you shake it. not you. you shake this, right. and you just go straight down like that. but wait, there's more. >> we met him there in the same kitchen where he shoots so many of those tv commercials. so we will have that and more next week on the broadcast. for everybody who worked so hard it bring you tonight's broadcast, thank you for being here with us. fo
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>> everyone didn't know what to do. they were all scared. >> right now at 11:00, outrage after finding out that an attempted child abduction was a hoax. a woman is facing criminal charges for lying to police. she claimed that a strange man tried to take her 2-year-old daughter from her front yard, why did she do it and how is the community reacting? >> the police are not saying why she did it. they are saving that for criminal investigation, they will be talking to the da's offi


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